“During my Massachusetts divorce my now ex-husband’s attorney had a “friend” of hers assess our home for a fee. The assessment was well below what we had paid and we lost all of the $70,000 in equity so I walked away with nothing. Now I see the towns assessment of the property for that year was much higher and there was no recorded loss of equity…I feel like it was unfair and my ex still has the home with all the equity intact-do I have any recourse?”
Municipalities and other government agencies are notorious for assessing high, and not even consist with current market values. After all, the more they say your property is worth, the more tax they can levy.
While the time to object to opposing counsel’s choice of appraiser was before the appraisal was done, you may want to hire your own appraiser to give you their expert opinion based on the other appraisal, the neighborhood, etc. (i.e without actually going into the house) – it would be a relatively small amount of money spent for some peace of mind. Also, just so you know, it’s not at all uncommon for an attorney to use someone with whom they have worked before.